Cacacho reveals reasons of sluggish Socceroo campaign

Injuries to local players dealt Socceroo some damage this season according to Coach
Kleng Cacacho. Mark Cristino/UFL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Socceroo finished at a dismal ninth place in the UFL season with only four points after 17 matches, and Coach Kleng Cacacho revealed on Wednesday to sportswriters the reasons behind it.

Cacacho said, "The [international players] left, because they have to renew their contract visa. They cannot renew their visa here, and they need to go back to their countries."

He also bared that his locals got caught in the injury bug, which further hampered Socceroo's bid.

Cacacho further admitted, "A lot of my local players are injured, like my captain ball [Enzo Pinga]. He got [an] ACL [injury]. Some others have back pains already."

He also said that the club had to give up its college players as they prepare for the UAAP season, which will start early next year.

Cacacho elaborated, "The schools did not release them, because they're preparing already for the UAAP."

The Socceroo mentor, however, believes Pinga's knee injury hurt the squad a lot.

"With my captain not playing, no one will command and communicate with the players," he explained the effect of Pinga's loss.

With Socceroo's struggles this season, Cacacho said that a major rebuild is expected in the off-season.

The coach remarked, "In the next season, we have to restart again, especially the local players, 'coz we cannot always look for good foreign players. We need to keep our local players at a high level of technical and tactical skills."

He also hinted at possibly elevating some players from its youth team to the senior squad.